Freedom and Autonomy

Joseph Raz

in The Morality of Freedom

Published in print September 1988 | ISBN: 9780198248071
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598289 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Freedom and Autonomy

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The ideal of autonomy, together with pluralism, underlies the doctrine of political freedom. Autonomy underlies both positive and negative freedom. Toleration is underpinned by the competitive pluralism that is essential to autonomy. Autonomy is consistent with perfectionism, yet also underlies the ‘harm principle’, which asserts that the only purpose for which the law may use its coercive power is to prevent harm. Perfectionism and the harm principle are consistent with one another because the recommended type of perfectionism abjures coercion, focusing instead on maintaining the framework conditions that are conducive for pluralism and autonomy.

Keywords: autonomy; coercion; competitive pluralism; harm principle; perfectionism; toleration

Chapter.  11201 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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